Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its bright lights, vibrant themed casinos, and grand attractions. When you need to escape the energetic city for a weekend and explore more of Nevada, as well as Utah and regions of California, you’re in luck. From swimming in Ringbolt Hot Springs in Willow Beach to embarking on guided fishing tours in Richfield, Utah, there are plenty of exciting family-friendly things to do away from the Las Vegas area. Book one of many Las Vegas vacation rentals to serve as a home base for the week. Then on the weekend, venture to one of these popular nearby cities for a short getaway.

1. Willow Beach, Nevada

willow beach
Source: Flickr/Jamie von Sacken

Explore the Colorado River and the Black Canyon region when traveling approximately an hour from Las Vegas to Willow Beach. Settle into your vacation rental and dive into fun in the sun with recreational activities that include taking a dip in Ringbolt Hot Springs or admiring the towering sight of Mount Wilson. After an afternoon of swimming, boating, or canoeing, stop in at The Dillinger or Southwest Diner for some American cuisine.

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2. Laughlin, Nevada

laughlin nv
Source: Flickr/Daniel Ramirez

When you want to escape the fast-paced life of Las Vegas, travel an hour and a half to Laughlin, Nevada, for some rest and relaxation in a vacation rental offering views of the Colorado River. Spend your weekend fishing in the Davis Dam or enjoying the sights of the river with a boat tour hosted by Laughlin River Tours. Delight the car enthusiasts with a tour of the Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Collection, or take a leisurely jaunt along the Riverwalk. When you’re missing the noise of the Las Vegas casinos, get your fill and try out your luck at the Golden Nugget Casino or Colorado Belle Casino.

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3. Richfield, Utah

richfield utah canal
Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Thrill the fishing enthusiasts in your crew with a weekend getaway at the Fish Lake National Forest in Richfield, Utah. Located four hours from Las Vegas, Richfield is home to Fish Lake, equipped with yellow perch, tiger muskie, and rainbow trout. Reel in something fresh for dinner on a Saturday morning, then treat the kids to a day at Jorgensen’s Lanes for a bowling competition. Nature enthusiasts enjoy the challenging trails of the Arch of Art Trail, while the golfing enthusiasts can flock to Cove View Golf Course for 18 holes of golf before retreating to their cozy vacation rental.

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4. Los Angeles, California

san pedro coast
Source: Flickr/Sergei Gussev

A four-hour drive puts you in the midst of the entertainment industry and sandy beaches. Beyond the attractive skyscrapers, Los Angeles offers you attractions that are focused on oceanfront fun. Make a splash on the beaches with Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons, or get out on the water with LA Waterfront Cruises. The big city is chock full of historical museums, such as the Griffith Observatory and the California Science Center, as well as entertainment attractions that include the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Shop the elite stores in Beverly Hills, and if you’re lucky, spot a celebrity or two during your weekend getaway.

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5. Pahrump, Nevada

pahrump lake
Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

If you’re an adventure seeker, then a vacation rental in Pahrump is the perfect choice. This Nevada city, just an hour and 10 minutes from Las Vegas, offers you extreme water sports such as a ride through the air with Jetpack America, or practice your target shooting at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. Opt for a sightseeing tour with Death Valley Desert Tours to unveil even more scenic views and historical tidbits about this Nevada city. Golf enthusiasts can get in 18 holes at Mountain Falls Golf Club, while nature enthusiasts can explore the hiking trails at Cathedral Canyon.

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6. Springdale, Utah

springdale canyon
Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Immerse yourself in nature when traveling two hours and 35 minutes from Las Vegas to Springdale, Utah, to tour Zion National Park. A vacation rental in Utah puts you close to the deep canyons and challenging hikes of this national park, as well as the exotic animals on display. Learn about the history of the park at the Zion Nature Center during your weekend getaway, and sign the kids up for the junior ranger program to enhance their educational endeavors. Take your vacation to higher levels with a rock climbing excursion with the Zion Adventure Company, or thrill the nature enthusiasts with a wildlife adventure with Mild to Wild Rhino Tours.

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7. Needles, California

swamp trail
Source: Flickr/naggobot

Book a vacation rental along the Pacific Flyway when making Needles, California, your vacation destination for the weekend. A two-hour drive puts you on the north-south migratory route that houses the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Delight the bird watchers in your family with a stop at the refuge to see hundreds of bird species before enjoying the hiking, hunting, fishing, and boating activities available right on the refuge grounds. Continue your outdoor explorations with a trip to Mystic Maze before watching the boats sail on the Colorado River from the Pirate Cove Resort Marina. Let the kids expel some energy at the Jack Smith Memorial Park playground before stopping in for some souvenirs and sweet treats at Gus’s Really Good Fresh Jerky.

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